The VCAZ Advisory Board is a group of leaders/influencers within the business, political, and civic community in Arizona. They represent a diversity of political affiliation, come from different sectors of business, not-for-profit, and government, and are highly committed to the advancement of VCAZ. The Advisory Board provides their insight and expertise, offers feedback on our strategic plans and creates opportunities to influence the future of ranked choice voting in Arizona.
Art Babbott is a former member of the Flagstaff City Council and the Coconino County Board of Supervisors. Art ran as an independent for the Arizona state legislature in 2020. Art has owned and operated several businesses in Flagstaff including the Orpheum Theater and for the last 21 years, the Flagstaff Community Market. Art has a BA in Political Science and an MA in Urban Affairs.
Nicole P. Barraza
Nicole P. Barraza is originally from Nogales, Sonora and is a graduate of Salpointe Catholic High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Wellesley College, and her Master’s and Ph.D. from Stanford University in Sociolinguistics and Peninsular Literature. Prior to joining the Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC), Nicole was a Spanish instructor at Pima Community College. She was selected as a 2020 Flinn-Brown Fellow by the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation.
Dan Calderone is a retired entrepreneur with 20 years experience operating software companies. He was co-founder and served as CEO for both CXT Software and MobileBytes. He recently served as an advisory board member for the ASU Gammage Return to the Stage campaign which raised $500,000 to help maintain operations during the Covid shutdown. Dan is active in supporting political candidates dedicated to fair and equal opportunity for all.
Ken Clark is a former state representative with a broad work history, highlighted by support for reforms in energy production, the environment and elections. He served in the 46th, 52nd and 53rd Arizona Legislatures, representing Central Phoenix. He sat on the Appropriations, Environment and the Elections committees. Over the years, Ken managed various campaigns related to issues such as curtailing predatory lending, advocating for human rights, promoting a fair redistricting process and fighting the influence of dark money in elections.
Dr. Heather Carter
Dr. Heather Carter is Executive Vice President of Greater Phoenix Leadership, with a special focus on P-20 education and healthcare. Prior to this role, Dr. Carter served in the Arizona State Legislature as a Republican member of the Arizona House and Senate representing District 15 from 2011 to 2020. She has also held a variety of faculty and leadership roles with Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.
Ian Curtiss is the Assistant Dean for Asia at ASU. Prior to joining W. P. Carey, Ian’s career focused on global public affairs and market analysis/intelligence for companies operating in China and Mexico. Most recently, Ian led the policy and U.S. government affairs teams at the American Chamber of Commerce in China. Ian completed his Bachelor’s degrees in History and Political Science at ASU, earned a Master’s of International Relations from Peking University and has an MBA from ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business.
Dick is a long time Arizona business advocate and leader who also has considerable experience in a wide variety of educational institutions, programs and campaigns dealing with everything from education policy to administration to finance at the University, Community College and K-12 levels in both traditional public as well as public charter systems. Dick is a recognized leader for his work on tax policy, education policy, legislative and civic engagement.
Lauren Kuby, in her second term as a City of Tempe council member, is a champion of campaign finance reform. She spearheaded a dark money disclosure amendment to the City’s charter, garnering 91.44% support from the voters. For her efforts exposing the corruptive influence of money in politics, Lauren was featured in the inaugural episode of the MSNBC docuseries, "American Swamp."
Christopher Mathis is a lawyer in private practice and formerly served as director of policy and communications for the Healthcare Markets and Regulation Lab at Harvard Medical School and as a health care legislative assistant in the United States Senate. He is a Professor of Practice at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona where he focuses on health law and policy. Mr. Mathis earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Illinois, his Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and his Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Drew Penrose lived in Tucson from 2002 until 2012, when he moved to Maryland to join the staff of FairVote. He left FairVote in 2020 to focus on parenting while consulting part time. Drew graduated from the University of Arizona in 2006 and the James E. Rogers College of Law in 2012. He has published two law review articles on ranked choice voting and one on Arizona
Alison Porter was a founder of Save Our Schools which defeated a state law diverting money from Arizona public schools to vouchers. Using grassroots organizing, Save Our Schools successfully referred a referendum to the voters and passed the repeal. This victory helped inspire Arizona teachers to speak out and create the Red for Ed movement. She is co-founder of Neighbors Forward AZ, organized to empower people to unite, engage in civil and volunteer activities, and link with businesses to the community health of the community.
Roberta Voss was educated at Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, NE graduating with a Juris Doctor (1994). She opened the Law Office of Roberta L. Voss in 1994. Roberta has been very active in her community in the past 35 years including: membership in Charter 100; service on the Judicial Performance Review Commission; the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Board; Arizona Homeland Security Council; and, was elected to serve in the Arizona House of Representatives between 1997 and 2003.
As Chief Operating Officer of Guided Therapy Systems (GTS) and Ardent Sound, Steve Zastrow was responsible for the worldwide commercialization of GTS’s Intense TherapeuticUltrasound technologies. With more than 20 years of executive and consulting experience, Steve has advised many prominent organizations throughout the United States plan and execute transformational, strategic initiatives. Prior to his work in the private sector, Steve served as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff for the City of Tempe, Arizona.